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Operation Homecoming - Writing the Wartime Experience
Operation Homecoming - Writing the Wartime Experience
Actors: Robert Duvall, Jack Lewis, Brian Turner, James Salter, Sharon D. Allen
Genres: Documentary, Military & War
NR     2008     1hr 21min

This pioneering film illuminates the extraordinary experiences of American servicemen and women through their own powerful stories. Based on the acclaimed NEA-sponsored book of the same name, this eloquent and moving (Ente...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Robert Duvall, Jack Lewis, Brian Turner, James Salter, Sharon D. Allen
Genres: Documentary, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Military History, Iraq War, Military & War, Politics, Military & War
Studio: Docurama
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 01/15/2008
Original Release Date: 02/09/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 02/09/2007
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 21min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Incredibly Well-Done Documentary
B. Merritt | WWW.FILMREVIEWSTEW.COM, Pacific Grove, California | 04/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I think I've been socially hardened by documentaries that don't show all sides of a story, or instill the documentary-makers' opinions or images (see Sicko) in place of what should be being told.

So it is with a heavy sigh of relief that I wholeheartedly recommend this Academy Award nominated documentary, OPERATION HOMECOMING: WRITING THE WARTIME EXPERIENCE.

First let's look at why this film is so successful. It's fresh. Most war writings are done by established or well-groomed writers, giving them decent syntax, etc., but lacking that up-close and personal process that goes along with firing weapons and being fired at during war. And this is where Operation Homecoming succeeds. The writings are all firsthand accountings from soldiers who've walked the walk and talked the talk.

Secondly is the unique filming. Each segment contains a different milieu and a different style of filming. From animation to quick-flash photography of those that've given their lives, the stories are told in a highly interesting fashion that keeps the viewer very interested.

Thirdly is the internal conflict that so easily comes across. From the beginning of the film when soldiers discuss their upbringing from childhood and being told killing is wrong, to being thrown into a situation where you're trained to kill for "God and Country," the film watcher understands the conundrum these men and women are put into.

The final successful element is the men and women themselves and how they deal with tough situations. There's never the "Why am I here" question asked. They know why they're there. They don't care about policy or partisan politics or money or oil. They care about the guy to their left and right who's protecting their backside during a fire-fight.

Each `chapter' (if you will) contains a title and the story of a soldier. From the grunts on the ground, to the medic flying the injured to Germany, to the honor guard who sees the dead to their final resting place, Operation Homecoming is truly a unique gem in the documentary genre."
Poignant, haunting, memorable....a "must-watch."
Virginia Harrold | Glendale, CA | 03/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is one of the three documentaries about Iraq that were nominated for the "Best DoOcumentary Feature" Academy Award. All three films were riveting, but this one is the most personal, the most touching and the most artistic. You meet the authors in interviews, and find out their background story, as well as what prompted them to write about their experiences. Famous actors then read that writing as the filmmakers illustrate the stories in a variety of different ways....still photography, animation, footage shot by soldiers, etc. This film is visually compelling and emotionally powerful; non-partisan; human. It simply tells some of the stories of the men and women who serve - what they see, what they feel, and what they experience. The film is poetic, beautiful and should be seen by every American, regardless of political affiliation."
History in the making
C. Demarest | Meriden NH United States | 05/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Regardless of one's politics, it's important for all of us to understand what our troops and families have and are going through in our war on terrorism and appreciate the sacrifices, big and small, they've all made. The book of the same name was a touchstone for tapping into the minds of those whose stories made into this collection. From first hand accounts on the frontlines, to those who've aided, both medically and psychologically, to the final trip and tribute a Marine officer gives to his fallen comrade the dvd picks up where the book leaves off, offering us a slendid visual potpourri; from live action film to stills to a loose animation, almost storyboarding of events as seen through the eyes of a young soldier. It is a film that leaves one wanting more and wanting to revisit the film again and again."
A Revealing Inner Journey That Brings It All Back Home
Rocky Raccoon | Boise, ID | 03/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

""It is a false notion that we have to recover from everything. Some things are unhealable." --U.S. Army Sgt. Prior

This worthy recent Best Documentary Oscar nominee has a wealth of material and presentation as several veterans of the present Iraq and other American Wars delve deeply into their feelings and reflections of what it is like to be a soldier. Mixing some animation, quotations, actual war footage, and interviews with the actual authors, several actors make their inner journey tangible by reading their texts. 'Operation Homecoming,...' is an accessible inner journey of the lives of soldiers. Poignant and transporting.

(Featuring quotes by Hemingway, D.H. Lawrence, and Philip Caputo, et al. Interviews include Anthony Swofford as well as several other vets from previous wars, reflecting upon fear, responsibility, guilt, pride, loss, and boredom from the resulting wars. Also featuring Robert Duvall and Aaron Eckhart, et al, reading select texts.)"